tv Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC August 27, 2014 7:00am-8:01am PDT
good morning. i'm jose diaz-balart. we're expecting to hear live for the first time from peter theo curtis, and american writer released by an al qaeda affiliate after being held captive for 22 months in syria. he returned home to massachusetts last night. this morning he hung an american flag outside his home and in a statement said he was deeply indebted to the u.s. officials who have worked on my case. he also thanked the government of qatar who negotiated his release. that brings us to the growing threat coming from another terrorist group isis. right now the president is weighing his next steps to root out the islamic terrorist group that knows now brown i dids. he may have to do it with air strikes in syria not just iraq.
u.s. surveillance flights are already flying over northern syria. according to the new york times this morning the white house is aiming to enlist a brad swath of allies and neighbors in the region as it considers air strikes. the state department said no coordination will be made with syrian leader bashar al assad. despite a warning by his regime, the u.s. strikes without permission would be considered an an act of aggression. i want to bring in richard engel. i want to start with peter theo curtis. he was not explicitly held by isis. does his experience underscore how potentially violent the situation on the ground in syria is this. >> it certainly does. as you mentioned, he was kidnapped two years ago and held by a group that is very similar to isis. actually, a group that -- shares a similar ideology but a rival
of isis. it was a group that initially was considered the most extreme group in syria until isis came along with the brutality, the savagery and ellipsed even that group which was the official al qaeda affiliate. but since then, things have only gotten worse. right now, when you go through syria, between the turkish border and aleppo, for example, there are dozen of isis check points. they stop cars, they're looking to kidnap people. they're looking to round up any foreigner they can find. it is a situation of absolute lawlessness where these militants are the law, and i can't think of a more dangerous place in the world right now. >> why do you think they release them? what is in their interest? >> i think it would be interesting to hear from him. qatar has a lot of influence over groups like this.
and this group in particular. there was talk about prisoner exchanges. there was talk about usually prisoner exchanges these groups want. and qatar has a lot of militants in its own territory. so qatar has leverage. i don't know the terms of his release, specifically. >> you have done a lot of digging into the background of the american turned isis militant. the first american kill order the battle field fighting for isis. how did the young man -- >> not the first one. >> you're right. he committed suicide. >> there was a suicide bomber that got into a truck full of explosives and blew it up. this is another isis fighter. there are a few doesn't isis fighters from the united states. people who went over and joined islamist groups. it's assumed, anyway, the u.s. said there are probably 70 to 100 militants or americans who radicalized themselves and
wanted to join with islamic groups in syria, isis being one of them. >> yeah. he also sent out this tweet in june. he says now we're all waiting for you guys. we will see you soon. other americans are maybe not going into syria and may be staying home but feel a certain identity with isis. >> it's a real issue. you have isis, the group calling itself the islamic state. it took over large parts of northern iraq, took over large parts of syria. it documents everything it does. the good, the bad, the gruesome, the horrible and it puts it online. it is portraying itself as establishing a new islamic caliphate. everything is great. this is the return of the islamic empire, and it is portraying itself as an attra
attracti attractive, seductive place for misfits for those who are having troubles at home, for those who can't fit in to go over and recreate themselves as holy warriors. people are doing it, from europe, the islamic world, and some from the united states. and the danger is will they come back or will some actually just see the stuff online and decide they don't need to go to syria to fight but inspired to carry out some sort of attack on their own? one thing you mentioned a the want to of your broadcast about the surveillance flights into syria. i think that's important. i think that's where this needle is heading. the u.s. is flying surveillance flights over syria looking for targets. they're going to find targets. when you have the military asked to look for targets and they're going it find them, it's a target-rich environment, what do you think is going to happen next? it's like asking the contractor
into your home and you know the basement is flooded what do you think he's going tell you? he's going to tell you you need work. i think it's likely we're going to see some air strikes in sir kbr -- syria. >> thank you so much. it's fascinating to hear from you. joining me for more is senior editor gid began lynchfield and democratic correspondent for the washington post. thank you for being with us. we're keeping an eye on cambridge, massachusetts. you see the live shot there as the camera people are awaiting peter theo curtis. hopefully he'll come out and speak to us. we will carry that live. but i want to start with you, what is the next move diplomatically the president needs to make in order to strike isis in syria. he's conducting surveillance. it's obvious something will happen inside syria, richard said.
>> strictly speaking, president obama doesn't have to do anything diplomatically, but he's likely to. he's likely to try to get regional support for not only the proposition that the united states should conduct air strikes inside syria against that country's publicly expressed wishes, but also, get a little cover. you remember in the libya campaign that the presence of uae gave the united states a huge -- no great military strategic value but a huge public relations value. it was able to say, look, it's not the united states going war again in the middle east by itself. this is a coalition of like-minded countries including many arab countries that want to see the same outcome. that's ideally diplomatically where they would like to be here as well. it will take a little bit of time, but as richard engel mentioned, the fact surveillance strikes have begun indicates
that there's not a huge lead time the white house is looking at here. >> and interesting, gideon, the state department said they'll not coordinate with assad in conducting the air strikes. how realistic is that? >> the sus in a bit of a bind here. if it doesn't coordinate with assad, it has air strikes in the east of the country which is fairly remotely -- thinly populated. it can hit targets there. if it gets too close of the open population centers like aleppo, it risks a response from assad. assad has been warning the u.s. don't get involved. he might tolerate a sort of ininvolvement on the edges of syria but not more deeply inside. however, if the u.s. were to try to coordinate with assad, of course, is saying it won't do, then it's dealing with a dictator who has killed tens of thousands of his own people and getting itself in a complicated
situation in relation to the other allies in the region. it's treading a fine line between keeping assad out of the picture but possibly not being effective. and not to involve him. it's a terrible sticky mess. >> hundreds of thousand of people died under the assad dictatorship. that's just the son. we're almost, as you mentioned, a year to the day when president obama made that weekend annou e announcement from the rose garden consulting congress before using force. how does he dream with congress? >> he's got a dilemma there. he doesn't actually have to go to congress right away, but again, it would give him some backing and some additional cover if he did. you're starting to see some congressional voices on both sides of the aisle. >> madam? i'm going have to interrupt you. peter theo curtis is approaching the microphone right now live from cambridge. >> thank you for coming out here this beautiful wednesday
morning. in the days following my release on sunday, i have learned bit by bit that there have been literally hundreds of people brave, determined and good-hearted people all over the world working for my release. they've been working for two years on this. i had no idea when i was in prison. i had no idea so much effort was being expended on my behalf. and now having found out, i'm overwhelmed with emotion. i'm overwhelmed by one other thing. that's total strangers are coming up to me and saying we're glad you're home. welcome home. glad you're back. glad you're safe. great to see you. so i suddenly remember how good the american people are, and what kindness they have in their hearts. and to all of those people, i say a huge thank you from my heart. from the bottom of my heart. now, look, i am so grateful you
are expressing all of this interest in me. at the same time, i have to bond with my mother and my family now, and i can't give you an interview and i can't give you a talk back and forth. >> can you tell us what it feels like? >> that's all i can say to you. in the future, i promise i will respond to your e-mails and i will be present and i'll help you guys do your job. i'm one of you. i know, what you're going through. i want to help you guys and i will be there and i will respond, but i can't do it now. thank you so much. >> welcome back. >> peter theo curtis. ly get back to you. i'm one of you. i know, what you're feeling right now. boy, what must he be feeling. two years in captivity in the hands of an terrorist group. richard engel tells us is the most ruthless terrorist group until isis came to play in the terrorist game. and there you see him after
flying home to cambridge, massachusetts just last night. two years in captivity having witnessed horrible things. there have been talk of other people that this terrorist group had along with mr. curtis being beaten and tortured consistently. can you imagine what he must have gone through? just to see him walk out of his house with paper in his hand, the to the best of my recollection -- he remembers the greatness of the american people. the greatness of the people who never forgets people that like mr. curtis are in the hands of terrorists. i want to bring back richard engel. just -- you've been held in hands of horrible people you yourself. tell me what you see when you heard, you know, peter theo's comments. >> i thought he did pretty well. i thought he sounded composed.
he looked relaxed. he look healthy. he didn't like he had atrophied much from two years in capivi captivity. he understand, look, i don't feel like doing interviews now. i want to spend time with my family. it was important for him to come out and make a statement and say thank you very much to the american people. thank you for the attention but give me a little bit of time. i thought he was remarkably composed. you could hear toward the end his voice was starting to quiver and crack a little bit. i'm sure he has a lot of issues that he's going to have to sort through. in general i thought he looked and sounded pretty good. >> what do you think, and information that he may have that authorities would want to get from him. the process after he's released. how does that go? has he been debriefed fully are already? >> probably not fully. he has been debriefed, undoubtedly, and he'll be debriefed continually. he was held by a group that the
united states considers a terrorist organization. he was held with them extensively. whether he has any actionable intelligence, possible, possibly not. but there will be a long procedure with all the different security agencies in the united states who will want to talk to him. because after 9/11, this country had a proliferation of security agencies from the fbi to homeland security to the director of the national intelligence, et. cetera, et. cetera. and shockingly. they don't all coordinate as well as you would think. and sometimes each of the agency wants to talk to you alone. it's not an obligation. he's not being formally interrogated. i would think he's being asked to cooperate he probably will. it will be a long time. >> nbc's richard engel thank you very much so much for being with
us. as we await the president -- the president's executive action on immigration could come at any minute now. we don't know when. we know the business community is keeping a close eye on immigration. i'm going interview the founder of crate and barrel for what she thinks is the answer. we're going west. californians are waking up to serious surf as hurricane marie churns over the pacific. we'll be right back.
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beach. good morning. we're expecting historic waves this morning. are surfers out as well? >> yeah, jose. we've seen surfers make their way into the water. we've seen life guards right behind them telling them to get out the water because the conditions are certainly dangerous. these beach properties are about 100 yards so away from the water. there's water in the homes. 4 to 6 inches in a half dozen homes. the swells are kicking up. they kicked up overnight. we've seen bigger waves 10 to 15-foot waves are expected in the area. all the way through friday the biggest, the peak was expected overnight and this afternoon. about 11:00 local time and four or five hours from now we expect the next big peak to come ashore. 10 to 15-foot waves. just over my shoulder they are building at this hour a 10 to 12-foot wall of sand. a berm.
we'll show you the berm now. it's here to protect the homes over behind me. it's essentially a levy they are actively building to protect from those oncoming waves into the community here. but as you can see, the damage here has already been done at least to a couple of homes. they're trying to fortify that wall as the next round of waves get ready to approach seal beach in the next couple of hours, jose. >> thank you so much for being us with. now from hurricane's waves to more dangerous weather. a shocking gun accident, and primary day results. let's zoom through some of the top stories. 120,000 people in detroit still without power at this hour. high winds knocked down trees and power lines. lightning started house fires. d.e.t. energy has crews working 16-hour shifts. hopes to have power back to everyone tonight. a 9-year-old accidentally shot and killed her instructor
at the arizona shooting range. the instructor was showing her how to use an uze she was kicked back and the gun went over her head. the sheriff's department released the instructions. it could be the most expensive governor's race in the country and could be one of the nastiest. former cold stone creamery director. immigration a major immigration issue. pledged more fencing, satellites, and prosecutors to secure the border. he'll take on democratic fred duvall. at one time worked under president clinton. as we wait for president obama to announce how he's going to act on immigration, it could be at any time. he continues to face pressure from both sides of the aisle. today democratic congressman louise ambiguity ar-- it's not
political leaders weighing in. the business community is taking a stand on the issue. tomorrow in chicago the illinois business immigration coalition set to meet. to call on the administration to grant relief to undocumented immigrants and protected children fleeing from central america. joining me this morning carol seaga seagal. from crate & barrel. >> congress hasn't done anything this year but maybe the president to act? >> well, the crisis keeps on growing. different facets and we've got wonderful innocent children involved in this. and so we really would like congress and to become a more proactive. we're not so sure that's going
to take place. so we, at this point in time, are asking for some deferred action from the president and some administrative relief. we have many children in the united states who are born in the united states who are u.s. citizens born here but their parents are undocumented. so we ask for the daca be extended. it was done for the dreamers. it could be extended to these parents as well. just to give you some idea, in 2012, 150,000 u.s. citizens children born in america had a parent or both parents deported. for really trivia kind of things. nothing they were not really criminals. we feel only 1% of the parents
were criminals. we feel that those children born in america have certain unalienable rights. we ask that president obama also put that through under daca, as i said the dreamers act as well. we're asking for these things. there are 5 million workers right now we think really could qualify under this >> i was wonder. there's a lot of people who say we're going through tough economic times. it's tough to get a job, find a job, get a job that pays well. by bringing in millions of people who came here illegally you are flooding the job market when there aren't a lot of good jobs available. is that ringing a bell with you? a lot of people say it's about jobs. it's about lack of jobs. and bringing in more undocumented into the work force would affect those that are here legally from getting a job. >> jose, they're working anyway.
they come here to work and they're working. they do jobs that other people don't want to do. it is called the under ground community. thigh are here and they are working. they don't pay taxes. if we give them some of the relief and give them a work permit, the government would get taxes. it doesn't take very much to figure out how much it would bring into the coffers. they are working here. they're not taking jobs away from anybody else. that's a fallacy. they're hard working. doing the jobs that people wouldn't do. in the service industries, in grounds keeping, day workers,
nancy, they are working. coming up i speak to the man at the helm of the city during the most violent riots about the lessons of ferguson. and good intentions are not always enough when it comes to bridging the racial divide. it's time to bring it out in the open. it's time to drop your pants for underwareness, a cause to support the over 65 million people who may need depend underwear. show them they're not alone and show off a pair of depend. because wearing a different kind of underwear, is no big deal. join us. support the cause and get a free sample of depend at underwareness.com great. this is the last thing i need.) seriously? let's take this puppy over to midas and get you some of the good 'ol midas touch.
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protest, the debate over race and police tactics continues. i want to bring in a man with experience. the former mayor of miami with us this morning. thank you. >> good morning, jose. >> good morning. you were mayor of miami during the riots in 1980 that gripped the city after the death of arthur mcduffy and the acquittal of the police officers that beat him to death. you talked about how good intentions aren't enough when dealing with racial issues. i want to read something you wrote. when there institutional racism at work. you write good intentions and having the first elected black president and first black attorney general in america are simply not enough. what is to be done? >> i think we have to engage the community. in other words, i think disenfranchised communities are feel they are disenfranchised have to connect with the main
street. you know where you can see it today, jose. hispanic voter turnout in central florida 6% in yesterday's election. 11% in osceola. that's not acceptable. 25%, which was the general vote count in the turnout in the general community is not good, either. it's a lot better than the 11 percent. these are communities that are just don't feel they belong. they don't participate because they feel left out. >> and i want to take you back to 1980. we've been covering the city off and on for 30 years. i've been covering some of the subsequent riots, which are very difficult as a community to deal with. tell me how, then, in 1980 when it was pretty much an all-white police force, the cops were white, duffy black. how do you deal with this real it? >> i was elected in 1973.
by 1974 i had public hearings in miami. because they were sinking dogs on black kids in coconut grove. after the public hearings, i personally, as mayor of miami, went to washington and blew the whistle on my own police department. out of that came five or six years of negotiations. we ended up with a consent decree in 1980, which is about the time the riots occurred just before. and that consent degree, by the way, stands 35 years later -- 34 years later. so what do you do? you engage. so you to participate. you have to open up. you have to have transparency. you have to have people believe they have a chance at the american dream. yeah, we want to believe in the american creed. but the american creed has to be on a level playing field. that doesn't mean special things for any community. it means an equal opportunity to do access, jobs, education.
especially early education. >> yeah. you're right. thank you so much for being with me this morning. i appreciate it. i want to take a moment to tell you about an initiative here at msnbc. it's called growing hope. and we're asking you to help shape the conversation and inspire change around the issues that matter to you. let me share one. this one from courtney s. she said, my hope education becomes more assessable and affordable so all young minds have the opportunity to shape their future. >> ma reese was talking about the importance of early education. take action, join the hope. join the conversation. after the break air strikes or arm? what is the military strategy to deal with isis. retire retired general joins me to discuss the growing access
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♪ i have no idea that so much effort was being expended on my behalf. and now having found out i'm just overwhelmed with emotion. i'm also overwhelmed by one other thing that is that total strangers have been coming up to me and saying, hey, we're glad you're home. welcome home. glad you're back. glad you're safe. >> that was peter theo curtis, the american writer released by an al qaeda affiliate after being held captive in syria for nearly two years making his first statements this morning since returning home last night. now to the isis threat and what the president's military options are against the islamic terrorist group in syria and iraq. the u.s. conducted two more air strikes in iraq against isis targets tuesday. putting the number at 98 strikes this month. the president is looking to air strikes in syria. he said tuesday he's going to do
whatever it takes to root out the terrorist group. >> we'll continue to take direct action where needed to protect our people. and to defend our homeland. and rooting out a cancer like e isil won't be easy or quick. joining us now is eric rojo. colonel, good to see you again. >> hi, jose. good morning. >> colonel, in a war where, for example, isis doesn't recognize borders. they don't have an armed forces, they don't have a structured milita military structure, how do you deal with something like that? do we need strikes in syria. is it enough to do air strikes? >> jose, air strikes are only a beginning. it helps debilitate the force. i think they have shown to have fairly good organization. they do have military training.
but they also have a daily inflow of millions of dollars and their capacity to recruit. we learned in kosovo that the air war alone is not enough. we need infantry. it needs to be the infantry from iraq, the kurds, any of the allies in the region that threatened by isis. and they have to be hunted down whatever they are when weather it's in iraq or syria. these borders are disappearing a little bit too fast. >> let's take a few of these issues. you're talking about number one, is the fact that iraq is having a hard time defending itself. we saw members of the armed forces throwing away their uniforms as soon as some heat was coming on them. how do he expect the group that can't police themselves doing some proactive work. maybe even in syria. >> here is a political -- or
friends off the prime minister not real soldiers. if you don't an army with good leaders no matter how well trained they are. it's going to fall apart. >> colonel eric rojo. thank you for your time. it's a pleasure to speak with you. thank you for being with us. appreciate your time. >> good day, jose. >> we have more breaking news this hour. we've started this program on breaking news and continue throughout the hour. right now a military plane is crashed near the town of deerfield, virginia. 150 miles southwest of washington, d.c. it's apparently a massachusetts air national guard plane. and 15 c fighter jet. it's not clear why the plane went down or if the pilot ejected safely. virginia state police are
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with us. angela, the upshot section of the new york times gives republicans a 6% chance of taking the senate. silver predicts they'll net the six seats needed. >> let me start by saying it's only august and we know a lot can happen within a few months. >> you're right. >> most laughing matter. the joke may be on you, joe, when it comes to november. they can continue to make their predibss. three of the sets they're saying are tossups, louisiana, arkansas, and north carolina rely heavily on the african-american vote. we've seen pieces all summer talking about the importance of ensuring that voter turnout is high. among the populations that times are ignored. no one can afford to ignore the groups of folks whether they're young people, the elders or people of color. i don't know who is going to end up being on top. i think that senator reid and
the democrats have a fair chance of holding on to the senate majority. >> joe, any disagreement? >> i think angela is right. we can't leave anybody out. we have to make sure that people who feel left out in the past are included in the process and have a chance to be heard. i think that's important. i think that's what america is about. i think in looking at the race republicans have a great chance to take control of the senate. we have three seats, of course, where we are incumbents that are retiring, south dakota, montana, and one other, i guess, west virginia. we have a chance to win in all three of the states. we have great candidates in a whole host of states. some m of whom are coming from behind. new hampshire and iowa. louisiana in place. we don't expect senator landrieu to win with 50%. republicans will have a good chance whoever our candidate is. we know who we think will be the
candidate. that candidate will have a chance to win in the runoff election against senator landrieu. louisiana, colorado, alaska we're doing very, very well, north carolina, kentucky. we look to hold, of course. georgia, we have a lot of good stories around the country and just a great chance. better than 50/50 chance of winning control over of the senate. >> voter turnout drops. how crucial will it be? there's no single issue driving people to the poll. >> i think voter turnout is important. you talk about immigration reform. depending upon what president obama does to act on immigration reform. that can help or hurt the party. i think that it's important to recognize that there are still voter suppression laws on the books in many of the states that matter for the senate. a lot of these things have to continue to be addressed and people have to don't go out and fight. this summer was supposed to be a commemoration of freedom summer and the signing of the civil
rights act. people are fighting for their very rights. so the best way for them to do that is to go to the polls. it's important and i hope that members of congress and elected officials and candidates everywhere continue to drive home the message to their constituents. >> joe, angela was talking about -- something angela mentioned about the immigration issue. the president is expected to give some immigration executive order soon. certainly before the elections. do you think that's going to have an impact on key races, races that may be changing the balance? >> it may have an impact that some of the races in the border states. but overall all politics are local. and people will look to issues not only immigration but issues that affect their pocketbook. they'll look to the health care law, they'll look to employment issues, and to what the government is doing to make their quality of life better. and so they're going to be motivated to go to the polls to vote for their own situations in november. >> and the key is voter turnout.
voter turnout. thank you so much for being with me this morning. i appreciate your time. coming up napa rocked by earthquake and those famous wineries picking up the pieces. i'll interview one winery owner who isn't going to let this earthquake shake his dream. the harrison household. but one dark, stormy evening... she needed a good meal and a good family. so we gave her purina cat chow complete. it's great because it has the four cornerstones of nutrition. everything a cat needs for the first step to a healthy, happy life. purina cat chow complete. share your rescue story and join us in building better lives. one rescue at a time. when folks think about wthey think salmon and energy. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america.
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napa valley's wine country is open for business and trying to move forward following sunday morning's earthquake. in the aftermath of the quake, the winery "my dream" is one of the many mopping up its losses. the founder of my dream joins me this morning. good to see you, thank you for being with me. >> thank you, thank you for having me. >> thanks. you represent the american dream in so many ways. you started as a dishwasher in
napa and you opened your own winery. how do you revive your spirits after taking the big hit? >> well, you know, it's not easy, but for me, you know, it's really personally not that difficult. starting as a dishwasher, as you mentioned, and starting from nothing. and, you know, working hard and thanks to, you know, my family, my wife, my team, and all the support and 18 years later building something out of nothing. it's humbling and it grounds me, you know, that mother nature can shock us, but, you know, it's all materialistic. >> how bad were you hit? >> it was a pretty good blow. we were, you know, we took a
pretty good hit, but, you know, it's a miracle that the damage was -- it could have been a lot worse, you know, for sure. the barrels, you know, which is the biggest risk we have in earthquakes. i'm fortunate and blessed that all of my barrels, you know, stood in place. everything else that could fall fell. we probably experienced a 1,000 to 1500 gallons of wine lost out of 212 vintage. for us, that's pretty good hit. we'll come out of it strong. >> and, you know, when you think back on your life you didn't have it easy coming up. you went back to mexico. you decided to come back as a kid to continue your education and start out as a dishwasher and now you see your dream. what is the message. i think it's important we americans support napa and support wineries like yours. what is the message you want to
leave us? >> well, i mean, the message, i mean, first the message i take from this is, you know, mother nature, you know, can surprise us any moment. and, you know, the message i give out there to everyone is that, you know, first and most importantly our families are healthy, they're safe, all the materialistic stuff can be replaced. we stay strong. napa valley is a strong community, and, you know, it's going to take a lot more than a 6.1 earthquake to hold us back. i think, you know, we're going use this as a motivation to come out stronger and be prepared for, you know, the next earthquake, you know. but again, for me, it's starting from nothing and having a, you know, business of my own. it's pretty, you know, pretty simple for me to digest. >> yeah. and it's easy to say that your
american dream is still strong. >> very strong. absolutely. like i said, you know, from a business standpoint, a business owner, absolutely. of course it hurt, it hurts to have these losses, but again, i'm a big believer that everything happens for a reason. there's things in life we have no control over. i will use this as a motivation to, you know, get better, strengthen my systems, my procedures, and, you know, we're strong. we're coming out strong out of this. it's not holding us back. >> thank you for being with us this morning. we appreciate your time and your dream. thanks. >> thank you for having me. and that wrapping up this hour on msnbc. thank you for the privilege of your time. "newsnation" with tamron hall is the next. she'll have the latest on the breaking news in virginia. a military plane goes down. stay with us. come first. that's why whole grain is first
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good morning, everyone. i'm tamron hall. this is "newsnation." we begin with breaking news out of virginia where a military fighter jet has crashed. the massachusetts air national guard fighter jet was heading to new orleans when it went down 115 miles southwest of washington, d.c. let's get more details from nbc news chief pentagon correspondent. what do you have for us? >> it was an f-15 c fighter bomber jet that was headed on a training mission from there national guard base in barns, massachusetts to new orleans when the plane just suddenly dropped out of the sky. it's not clear exactly what happened, why it happened, or at this point the status of the pilot is even unknown. it's not clear whether he was able to safely eject from the airplane. now, according to air force officials we're talking